Researching Bikini Kill started a real snowball effect

Hey, lemme just say that I am so excited about this site. It’s quite unhealthy actually, how much time I have already spent on here… ¬_¬

Okay, so my Bikini Kill story actually needs a little background. Some of my earliest music memories take place in my Dad’s car, on the way down the A1 back to London after a weekend at his parents’, with whom he was living after divorcing my mum. (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m in the UK! Thought I’d mention that in case there was head-scratching going on across the pond!) First off, he was playing Madonna’s Music album – still a not-so-guilty pleasure, I must admit. Then he was playing No Doubt’s Rocksteady (we’re in the early 2000s by this time, and I have totally missed the whole movement, but bear with me). Then he was playing Led Zepplin’s III, or Pink Floyd’s The Wall or Dark Side of the Moon.
There wasn’t really an inbetween! This continued for years and years, my dad playing these albums to us over and over (I mean, Rocksteady was in the car for a good two years and I still have the casette he made for me! Other side: Holly Valance’s Footprints. I really didn’t have a musical preference at this point…)

When I was 10, the first album I bought myself was No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom. It was £5 and the front cover was broken. That didn’t matter because I loved No Doubt and always will, and upon researching into their history I stumbled across a LOT of good bands and artists. But basically I liked how it was pop but with such attitude… are you starting to see where I’m going here? It was the attitude I was drawn to. (And still am. I’m a HUGE fan of Lady Gaga. Paws up, anyone?)

Then, and oh my God what a year, American Idiot was released. I’m pretty sure that album changed my life. Green Day was the first band that I obsessed over: I loved the songs, of course. I loved the messages. I loved the way I could close my eyes and I was away. I loved their swagger.

And I loved Kathleen on ‘Letterbomb’.

Researching Bikini Kill started a real snowball effect: it didn’t just introduce me to new music (I can’t be the only one who got into music by assosiation!) but a whole new frame of mind. Where Gwen Stefani had sung about the woes of being Just A Girl, Kathleen and Co were actually doing something about it. There’s no such thing as Just a girl… because girls kick ass!

My sister knows all the words to Rebel Girl and she’s never even heard it all the way through, I just sing it so much she’s picked it up! Well, that and Cherry Bomb.

Although I boast quite a diverse record collection – from Nine Inch Nails to Eminem to Taylor Swift to Rancid etcetc – and musical tastes, it is always the 90s punk scene that pulls me in and captivates me.

Shame I was born halfway through! (Well, ’94. Yeah, yeah, we lost Kurt Cobain and gained Justin Bieber, I know. I didn’t have any part in that, I swear.)

I’m not sure where I’m going with this. (This is going to sound like such a cliche, but…) Music is such a huge part of my life that trying to explain it leaves me a little lost for words. It has societal impacts like no other art form and can – and DOES – change the lives of people the world over, myself included.
But Bikini Kill? Well, they are just something of their own. For me when I think of them, I don’t think music I think lifestyle. I’m not sure if that was a goal of theirs or if I’ve read too much into it or whatever.

I guess that’s all I wanted to say.

Oh, and when you’re an out and out feminist at two-weeks-shy of 16, it’s really hard to find a boyfriend. And do you know what? I wouldn’t have it any other way.

Katie Epps, 15-and-11 1/2-months
London, UK.

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